Mitsubishi Ki-33

The Mitsubishi Ki-33 was a version of the A5M Navy Type 96 carrier fighter submitted to the Japanese Army in response to a specification issued in June 1935. The Ki-33 was competing against the Nakajima Ki-27 and the Kawasaki Ki-28, both low-wing cantilever monoplanes.

The June 1935 specification had been issued after the Japanese Army had tested the single Ki-18, a standard A5M but with the naval equipment removed. This aircraft had proved to be 28mph faster than the standard Kawasaki Ki-10 biplane, which was just entering service at the time, but not as manoeuvrable. The purpose of the new specification was to find an aircraft with the speed of the Ki-18 but the dog fighting ability of the Ki-10.

The Ki-33 differed from the Ki-18 in two main ways. The Nakajima Kotobuki 2 KAI 1 engine of the Ki-18 was replaced by a Nakajima Ha-1a, and it had an enclosed cockpit.  Two prototypes were built.

The three types of aircraft were tested against each other at the Rikugun Kokogijutsi Kenkyujo (Army Aero technical Research Institute). The Ki-33 was second fastest (behind the Ki-28), had the slowest climb rate and was not as manoeuvrable as the Nakajima Ki-27, and so was not ordered by the Army.

Maximum Speed: 295mph at 9,845ft
Climb rate: 5 min 56 sec to 16,406ft

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (1 December 2008), Mitsubishi Ki-33, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_mitsubishi_ki-33.html

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